His First Sleep Over !!!
“Mama I want to go with Aunt Diana, pleeeease” I look at my son, only 2 years 7 months asking to go for a sleep over, the look in his eyes is full of excitement as he is almost certain I will give in. I look at him and wonder why he would want to sleep away from his parents, and who told him about sleepovers anyway. He clings onto Diana and asks her to take him with her as she leaves my house at 7pm after spending the day with us.
Diana, excited says yes, she promises they will play with her daughter who has become part of our family, I am hesitant. I pack his overnight bag and he is too excited but will not let go of Diana just incase she sneaks out without him. I call the dad and the dad says, “yeah! Let him go we will never know unless we try.” I think my husband made a rush decision without much thought; we have never let him sleep away from one of us, not when we were in town anyway.
“You need to create a 2nd home for your child,” she said, “a place where opens the fridge and knows the people, so just incase you are not around, out of town, need to travel, your mother is not available, you and your husband need time, she can be with her other family…” those words echo in my head as I take my son to the car for his first sleep over. This was Caroline Mutoko at the last Mama’s Break.
I was certain he would change his mind he didn’t. They would call and say he wants mama, they didn’t, he would wake up and start looking for me, he didn’t. He was home.
So How did we get to a point where my son could leave me and go with Aunt Diana?
We have intentionally visited them with our son, we went for sleepovers to their house and they came to ours.
We spend time together as often as we can, Sunday afternoons we try and combine our family adventure.
I let them do for/help our son, for example, if he needs to go to the washroom, we will tell Shakie (Diana’s husband) to take him, this way he gets used to getting help from other people other than his parents.
Their daughter has come for sleepovers to our house enough times and they have become friends with our son.
Take care of yourself
I know leaving your child came be a logistical and emotional nightmare for most mums. I have been on a campaign lately to remind mums to take time for themselves, the other day I read online a mum was asking if you have a 3 year old and below do you ever get me time? 99 % of the answers were no, 4 years and counting.
Me time doesn’t have to be you sending your child off to shags and taking a week or so off from motherhood, though that sounds like such a great thing to do. A few hours every now and then might be all you need to stay sane.
Give other people a chance to take care of your baby so you can take care of yourself.
Have your mum come over to your house or a relative you can trust and take a night or weekend out to re-connect with your spouse. You will not believe how much you need that time till you do it.
As I have learned from my son, we are the problem, not them. To them, home is where love is.
Every day take at least 60 minutes to yourself, every week at least 6 hours and every month at least a day. Mums with newborns we tend to think we are the only ones who can be sufficient for our children, no we aren’t. Teach your baby how to bottle-feed early; from 1 month they can start using the bottle. Prepare your baby for the world, teach them to be independent.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF IS PART OF TAKING CARE OF YOUR KIDS.
So go on, create a 2nd home for your child; make it a conscience decision from today onwards.
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